The most recent escalation in the Russia Vs Ukraine conflict has left many wondering what will come next. Both sides present the Soviet Union as a dark time, and both have engaged in difficult exercise of critiquing the era during the perestroika and beginning of the 1990s. In response, Putin has emphasized the positive contributions of the Soviet era. But there’s more to this conflict than just the economic and political consequences.
NATO has increased its presence eastward in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and now includes most of the European communist states, including the Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. NATO has moved several hundred miles closer to Moscow. The conflict in Ukraine also has far reaching implications for future cooperation on key issues like cybersecurity and counterterrorism. It could also affect relations with other countries in the region. Despite these potential negative outcomes, the current conflict is unlikely to be the end of the world.
Russia is making a bold statement to the West, and is waiting for the western power to move first. If it doesn’t move quickly, Russia will drag Western power down with it like a thief. Ukraine shares a land border with Russia, and joining NATO puts both countries at risk. That’s why Putin has warned NATO not to take Ukraine into its NATO-backed arms. It’s not clear what Putin’s ultimate goal is, but the conflict in Ukraine could well be the beginning of the end for Western nations.